Law enforcement authorities and civil rights organizations across the country are criticizing President Trump for advocating for police brutality, during a speech to police officers in Brentwood, Long Island, on Friday.
President Donald Trump: “And when you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon—you just see them thrown in, rough—I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice.’ Like when you guys put somebody in the car, and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put the hand over? Like, don’t hit their head, and they’ve just killed somebody, don’t hit their head. I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?'”
Many of the nearly 100 officers from police departments across the region applauded and cheered Trump’s remarks. Police leaders across the country quickly criticized the comments.
The Gainesville, Florida, Police Department tweeted, “The @POTUS made remarks today that endorsed and condoned police brutality. GPD rejects these remarks and continues to serve with respect.” The Suffolk County Police Department tweeted, “As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners.” The International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Police Foundation have also criticized Trump’s remarks, as did police chiefs in Boston, New Orleans, Houston, Los Angeles and New York.
Some critics, however, didn’t buy the gesture of concern. Samuel Sinyangwe from the Use of Force Project tweeted, “Statements from police chiefs saying they don’t tolerate police violence ring hollow when their policies condone it.” We’ll have more on Trump’s speech later in the broadcast.